fbpx
Home » blog » Dexter Gordon: “Body and Soul”
Jazz

Dexter Gordon: “Body and Soul”

Dexter Gordon’s website sums up his importance in one line. He was, it says, “the first musician to translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone.”

Ken Burns’ documentary Jazz goes deeper:

Gordon was a major force in the emergence of modern tenor saxophone styles. His main influence was Lester Young, but he also displays an extroverted intensity reminiscent of Herschel Evans and Illinois Jacquet. His rich, vibrant sound, harmonic awareness, behind-the-beat phrasing, and predilection for C humorous quotations combine to create a unique style. Gordon’s music strongly affected the two leading tenor saxophonists of the succeeding generation, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. Gordon was later influenced in turn by Coltrane, and even, following Coltrane’s example, adopted the soprano saxophone during the late 1970s

To a non musician, the key is that Gordon had a beautiful and soulful tone. Here are You’ve Changed, Charlie Parker’s Scrapple from the Apple and Thelonious Monk’s Blue Monk. Here is more on ParkerMonk and Lester Young.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵

The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

Copied!